HANOI – Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang on Friday praised Japan’s cooperation on maintaining stability in the South China Sea, ahead of his official visit to Tokyo next week.
While speaking to a group of Japanese correspondents in Hanoi, Quang said Vietnam has “shared the perspective with Japan on solving” the South China Sea problem, pointing out that both countries regard “peace, stability and freedom of navigation” as highly important for the disputed waters.
Since long-running territorial disputes in the sea have been exacerbated in recent years by China’s building of man-made islands with military installations in some areas, Japan has given more support to Vietnam and other Southeast Asian countries hoping to improve their maritime security capabilities. Patrol boats are significant part of that support.
Quang, who will start his five-day visit to Japan next Tuesday, added that Hanoi and Tokyo have sought to “resolve disputes peacefully based on international law.”
On the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade accord, he said Vietnam will welcome other countries interested in joining. Following the withdrawal of the United States, the 11-nation TPP framework was endorsed earlier this year.
Quang said the trade accord will be a major driving force for Vietnam to expand exports and voiced hope that Japan, the largest of the 11 economies, will assist his country in “effectively” implementing the pact.
In 2017, Japan became the biggest foreign investor in Vietnam, with a stake of about $9 billion, or 25 percent of the nation’s total foreign direct investment inflow.
During the five-day visit, Quang is scheduled to meet with Emperor Akihito, Empress Michiko and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.